Chole bhature is a popular North Indian dish that consists of chole (spicy chickpea curry) and bhatura (deep fried leavened bread). This lip-smacking combination is loved by many for its rich flavors, but often raises concerns about its calorie content. This article will explore how chole bhature can actually help burn calories when consumed in moderation as part of an overall healthy lifestyle.
What are the main ingredients in chole bhature?
The main ingredients in chole bhature are:
– Chickpeas: Also known as channa or kabuli chana, chickpeas are packed with protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates.
– Onions: Onions contain quercetin, a plant compound with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.
– Tomatoes: Rich in vitamin C and lycopene, an antioxidant that gives tomatoes their red color.
– Ginger & garlic: Ginger and garlic have antimicrobial and immunity-boosting properties.
– Spices: Chole is flavored with chile powder, garam masala, coriander powder, cumin powder and amchur (dried mango powder). These spices are rich in protective compounds.
– Refined flour: Typically made with maida (refined wheat flour), which has a higher glycemic index than whole grains.
– Yogurt: Adds moisture and helps leaven the bread. Also provides protein and calcium.
– Baking soda & powder: Helps the bhatura puff up and become soft and spongy.
– Oil: Bhatura is deep fried, adding a lot of fat and calories. Vegetable oils like peanut or canola are typically used.
Nutritional value of chole bhature
Here is the approximate nutritional value for 1 plate of chole bhature (2 bhaturas and 1.5 cups of chole):
So in a single serving, chole bhature provides a whopping 1000 calories, along with decent protein and high amounts of fat. But it also packs in fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
How the ingredients in chole bhature can actually help burn calories
Despite its high calorie content, the ingredients in chole bhature provide some benefits that can promote weight loss when consumed in moderation:
Protein burns calories
Protein requires the most calories for your body to break down and digest. So the 30g of protein in chole bhature will burn more calories during digestion compared to fat or carbs. Some of the protein is coming from the chickpeas and dahi in the chole.
Fiber keeps you full
The 16g of fiber in chole bhature is a significant amount, about 64% of the daily recommended intake. Fiber slows digestion, keeping you satiated for longer. This results in lesser calorie intake later in the day.
Spices boost metabolism
The variety of spices in chole add protective plant compounds that provide anti-inflammatory benefits. Some research shows that certain spices like cayenne, turmeric, cinnamon and ginger may mildly boost metabolism too.
Iron builds muscle
Chickpeas supply iron, a mineral vital for muscle building and overall strength. Having more muscle mass increases resting metabolism, allowing you to burn more calories round the clock.
Tomatoes fight inflammation
The lycopene in tomatoes has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is linked to weight gain and metabolic diseases, so tomatoes help counter this.
Yogurt aids digestion
The yogurt in bhatura contains probiotics that optimize digestion and gut health. Proper digestion and absorption of nutrients is important for a robust metabolism.
Tips to burn more calories when eating chole bhature
Here are some tips to maximize the calorie-burning benefits of chole bhature:
– Consume it for breakfast – Eating a heavy meal early in the day kickstarts your metabolism and gives you enough time to burn those calories through activity.
– Add some extra chickpeas – Up the protein content by asking for extra chickpeas in your chole. The protein takes more energy to digest.
– Choose baked bhatura – Opt for bhatura baked in the oven instead of deep fried to slash the fat and calorie content.
– Increase vegetable portions – Load up on onion, tomato, cucumber and mint chutney to get more filling fiber.
– Use ginger-garlic paste – Generously season your chole with ginger-garlic paste. It provides antioxidants and sulfur compounds that boost metabolism.
– Drink cinnamon tea – Sip some cinnamon tea after your meal. The cinnamon can regulate blood sugar levels and increase metabolism.
– Take a walk post-meal – Go for a 15-20 minute walk after eating chole bhature. The physical activity will ensure the calories get used up.
Healthy chole bhature recipes for weight loss
You can give your chole bhature a healthy, metabolism-boosting makeover with these easy tweaks:
– Use a 50:50 mix of chickpeas and rajma (kidney beans) in your chole for an added protein kick.
– Finish with a dollop of Greek yogurt seasoned with roasted cumin powder. Its creamy richness works well against the spices.
– Mix in tender cubes of paneer into the simmering chole. Paneer provides whey protein to help build muscle.
– Replace half of the maida with whole wheat flour which is higher in fiber.
– Add 1-2 tsp psyllium husk into the dough. It forms a gel-like matrix and makes you feel full.
– Mix in a handful of crushed flaxseeds to provide omega-3 fats and fiber.
– Skip deep frying and instead brush the rolled out dough lightly with oil and bake at 400°F until golden.
– Use thick Greek yogurt or hung curd instead of plain yogurt to cut back on oil for binding.
– Make the bhatura thinner like a pizza crust to reduce oil absorption during baking. Top it with mint chutney.
Healthier chole bhature substitutes
If you love the flavors of chole bhature but want a lighter option, try these substitutes:
Chole stuffed sweet potato
– Bake sweet potatoes and slit them open. Top with hot chole, onions, cilantro and chaat masala.
Chole lettuce wraps
– Use lettuce leaves as low-carb wrappers for chole. Stuff them with the curry, onions, boiled potatoes and sev.
Chole stuffed omelet
– Make an omelet filled with spicy chole, tomatoes and onions for a protein-packed breakfast.
Chole quinoa bowl
– Combine cooked quinoa, chole, veggies and dollops of hung curd. Top with pomegranate seeds for a nutrition power bowl.
Does eating chole bhature lead to weight gain?
Chole bhature is a high calorie dish, but will not directly lead to weight gain when eaten occasionally as part of an overall healthy diet. However, be mindful of these factors:
– Portion size – Having a very large serving can easily tip you into a calorie surplus.
– Frequency – Eating chole bhature too often, like multiple times a week, can promote weight gain.
– Activity level – Without adequate physical activity, excess calories get stored as fat.
– Other diet choices – Consuming sugary drinks, refined carbs and fried snacks alongside chole bhature exacerbates calorie excess.
So the key is moderation – enjoying chole bhature mindfulness in moderate portions, occasionally, while maintaining an active lifestyle and making healthy diet choices overall. This can let you savor the dish without weight gain.
Chole bhature is a high calorie dish but also provides protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. When prepared wisely and enjoyed occasionally as part of a balanced diet and active lifestyle, it does not necessarily lead to weight gain. In fact, some of its ingredients like protein, fiber and metabolism-boosting spices provide benefits that can aid fat burning. So by making smart choices and tweaking your portions or preparation method, you can still reap the rewards of this beloved dish without expanding your waistline. Moderation and mindfulness when indulging in rich foods is key for both enjoyment and health.